Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1442
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1442
31 May 2024
 | 31 May 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Speed-up, slowdown, and redirection of ice flow on neighbouring ice streams in the Pope, Smith and Kohler region of West Antarctica

Heather Louise Selley, Anna E. Hogg, Benjamin J. Davison, Pierre Dutrieux, and Thomas Slater

Abstract. The ice streams feeding Dotson and Crosson Ice Shelves are some of the fastest changing in West Antarctica. We use satellite observations to measure the change in ice speed and flow direction on eight ice streams in the Pope, Smith and Kohler region of West Antarctica from 2005 to 2022. Seven ice streams have sped up at the grounding line, with the largest increase in ice speed at Smith West Glacier (87 %) whilst Kohler West Glacier has slowed by 10 %. We observe progressive redirection of ice flowlines from Kohler West into the more rapidly thinning and accelerating Kohler East Glacier, resulting in the deceleration of Kohler West Glacier and eastward migration of the ice divide between Dotson and Crosson Ice Shelves. These observations reveal previously undocumented impacts of spatially varying ice speed and thickness changes on flow direction and ice flux into downstream ice shelves, which may influence ice shelf and sheet mass change during the 21st century.

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Heather Louise Selley, Anna E. Hogg, Benjamin J. Davison, Pierre Dutrieux, and Thomas Slater

Status: open (until 12 Jul 2024)

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Heather Louise Selley, Anna E. Hogg, Benjamin J. Davison, Pierre Dutrieux, and Thomas Slater
Heather Louise Selley, Anna E. Hogg, Benjamin J. Davison, Pierre Dutrieux, and Thomas Slater

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Short summary
We used satellite observations to measure recent changes in ice speed and flow direction in the Pope, Smith and Kohler Region of West Antarctica (2005–2022). We found substantial speed up on seven ice streams of up to 87 %. However, Kohler West Glacier has slowed by 10%, due to the redirection of ice flow into its rapidly thinning neighbour. This process of ‘ice piracy’ hasn’t previously been directly observed on this rapid timescale and may influence future ice shelf and sheet mass changes.